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Reform Scotland Media Summary 14 January 2015

Reform Scotland
Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 14 January 2015

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is highlighted and underlined.

In addition to the newspaper stories outlined below, further news coverage can be found online at BBC News Scotland, STV News and Sky News.

Politics
National anthem: Holyrood’s petitions committee has recommended that ministers consult on a national anthem for Scotland. (Scotsman page 1, Express page 2, The Heraldpage 3, The National page 18, The Times page 9, Daily Mail page 2, P&J page 20)

Fracking: Fracking for shale gas could become a devolved matter after the UK Government accepted the principle of a Labour amendment to the Infrastructure Bill at Westminster. (Scotsman page 6, The Herald page 3, The Times page 2, P&J 12)

Homelessness: There were over 10,300 families in Scotland living in temporary homes, including bed & breakfasts, at the end of September 2014. (Scotsman page 17, The Herald page 8, Daily Record page 8)

Energy Bills: A source from inside the Labour Party has reportedly indicated that the Energy Bill freeze pledge may be rebranded to a cap as a result of falling energy prices. (Sun page 2, Daily Mail page 5)

Jim Murphy: Jim Murphy has said that he is not a Unionist and that he comes from a different political tradition to the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. (The Herald page 1, The National page 8, The Telegraph page 1, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, The Times page 9)

House of Lords: The SNP are today calling for the House of Lords to be abolished. (The Herald page 6)

Postal Voting: The Electoral Commission has made a u-turn saying it will now allow political campaigners to handle postal votes. (The Herald page 8)

Chilcot inquiry: David Davis MP has called for a parliamentary debate to help force the publication of the Chilcot report. (The National page 9)

Stamp Duty: A deal has been struck giving the Scottish government £64 million and leading to calls from the Scottish Conservatives for John Swinney to climb down on the proposed 10% levy on houses costing above £250,000. (The Telegraph page 2)

TV Debates: Daniel Finkelstein argues in the Times that David Cameron is right to avoid taking part in TV debates ahead of the election.

Ed Miliband: Isabel Hardman suggests in the Times that Ed Miliband’s ‘squirming’ over whether he wants to weaponise the NHS has damaged his standing with the party. (Rafael Behr comments in The Guardian)

Economy
Inflation: The consumer price index fell to 0.5per cent, its lowest level for 15 years. (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 2, The Herald page 2, The National page 8, James Meadway comments in the National, The Telegraph page 1, James Kirkup comments in the Telegraph,  The Times page 4, Financial Times page 1, Daily Mail page 6, Guardian page 3)

North Sea: Scottish Energy minister Fergus Ewing has accused Westminster of failing to use its economic powers to halt the decline in investment in North Sea oil. (Scotsmanpage 8, The Herald page 2, Financial Times page 1, P&J 12)

Apprentices: Nicola Sturgeon has pledged government money to help apprentices caught up in redundancies in the North Sea industries. (The Daily Record page 2)

E.On: Energy company E.On is to cut its standard gas prices by 3.5 per cent. (Scotsmanpage 11, Sun page 2, Express page 1, The Herald page 10, Financial Times page 2, The Daily Mail page 1, Courier page 17)

Employment Law: John Mason MSP has called for employment law to be devolved to Scotland in the wake of the collapse of City Link. (The National page 15)

Milk Prices: Harry Wallop in the Telegraph looks at how the fall in milk prices is affecting the milkman.

Budget Responsibility: Labour has followed the government in backing a charter which sets fiscal targets for the next three years. (Financial Times page 2)

Youth Parliament: 850 candidates aged 14-25 have expressed an interest in standing for the Youth Parliament. (Daily Record page 8)

Justice
Women in prison:  Jim Murphy has pledged to reduce the number of women in prison and called on the Scottish Government to stop its plans to build a new “super-prison” in Inverclyde. (Scotsman page 11, George Kerevan in the Scotsman, Sun page 8, Express page 2, Paul Gilbride in the Express, The Herald page 6, The Times page 1, Daily Record page 2, Daily Mail page 16, P&J page 15)

Female Prisoners Mental Health: A report from the Mental Welfare Commission has found that 80% of prisoners at Cornton Vale have mental health problems. (The Times page 8)
Terror Threat: A former head of MI5 has told MPs that up to five thousand European nationals pose a terrorist threat to Europe. (The Herald page 4)

Tony Blair: Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has apologised for a letter that let a man suspected of the 1982 Hyde Park bombing walk free from court but has claimed without the policy of issuing these letters the Northern Ireland peace process could have collapsed. (The Herald page 6, The National page 3, The Telegraph page 4, The Times page 17, Financial Times page 4, Daily Record page 6, Daily Mail page 1, Guardian page 4, Courier page 21)

Web Freedoms: Ian Bell comments in The Herald on the difficulties and ethical questions surrounding the monitoring of online communications. (The Telegraph page 1, The Guardian page 10)

Education
Educational attainment: The education committee in the Scottish Parliament is launching a year long investigation into the gap in attainment between Scotland’s richest and poorest pupils. (The National page 5, Daily Record page 8)

School Charity status: Campaigner Ashley Husband Powton has called for only state to schools to be allowed to benefit from charitable status. (The National page 4, The Telegraph page 7, Daily Record page 8)

Health
Assisted suicide: Doctors have reportedly demanded that a “conscience clause” be added into proposed legislation on assisted suicide, allowing them to opt out.  (Scotsmanpage 12, Express page 2, The Herald page 6, Alan Taylor in the Herald, The National page 2, The Times page 9, Courier page 19

Energy Drinks: Campaigners are calling on the government to ban children under sixteen from buying energy drinks. (Sun page 6)

NHS: A new poll from Lord Ashcroft suggests that people believe the NHS means more to the SNP than other parties. (The Herald page 1, The Guardian page 1)

Local Government
Councils: Joan McAlpine argues in the Daily Record that calls for power to be devolved from Holyrood to councils are an attack on the Scottish Parliament by anti-SNP parties.

Transport
Speed Limits: Calls have been made for more towns and cities to follow Edinburgh in bringing in 20mph zones. (The Herald page 5, The National page 14, The Telegraph page 14, The Times page 23, Daily Mail page 11)